The hormonal diaries Part 1

This article is the first in a series of articles you will find here that are focussed on hormonal health. It is a topic that I have become more invested in, traversing towards menopause as a 40 something woman. Sparked by my own journey of learning about my changing body and what I can do to support myself through this next phase of life, striving to be in optimal health for as long as possible. The articles are also spurred on by what I see in my clients day to day, the questions that come up and the issues that are common amongst the people I serve. My hope is that these articles will help more people find joy in the process of ageing.

Ageing for all of us is inevitable, and it should be celebrated. But ageing in pain and discomfort, although common does not need to be the norm. It has become the norm but it is in no way ‘normal’. Join me in The Hormonal Diaries as I explore and expel myths, beliefs and attitudes of our ageing population and learn what you can do to live well for longer.

The endocrine system

The endocrine system is the most powerful control system in the body. It is made up of ductless glands that produce hormones which are responsible for every function in the body including reproduction, growth, immune response and emotions. The endocrine system works innately and it is this system that makes us who we are, what sex we are, how our body is built and how we respond to the World we live in.

Hormones regulate every tissue, organ and system in the body and mind. The endocrine system is closely connected to the gut biome and both systems must be functioning harmoniously for the body to be in homeostasis or in balance. While the body’s natural state is one of good health and balance, that equilibrium can be disrupted by external influences, many of them within our own control.

An endocrine system that has been disrupted may react with auto-immune disease, neurological issues, dementia, cancer, depression, anxiety, heart disease, infertility, high blood pressure or learning difficulties just to name a few. These chronic conditions have early signs and symptoms which are often ignored, pushed aside or covered up with a bandaid approach of prescription medication when in fact there are so many lifestyle choices we can make to reduce and reverse the effects before chronic disease presents itself.

In this chapter of the hormone diaries I lay out nine of the most harmful endocrine disruptors. You will learn what they are and what you can do in your every day life to reduce the toxic load of these noxious substances so that you can take control of your health naturally.

Endocrine disruptors

An endocrine disruptor is anything synthetic that harms our endocrine system, leading to toxicity and illness.

The endocrine system is made up of a group of glands that secrete hormones throughout the body for functions such as insulin, growth and reproductive hormones, energy production, blood pressure, metabolism and stress responses

Glands in the brain link our nervous system to the endocrine system creating homeostasis or balance of functions. All glands must be working optimally for good health and when one or more gland stops functioning well, a cascade effect can cause other glands to malfunction contributing to auto immune issues, chronic exhaustion and disease.

Disruption of the endocrine system can occur in various ways. Some chemicals mimic a natural hormone, fooling the body into over-responding to the stimulus, or responding at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed). Other endocrine disruptors block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development). Still others directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or under active thyroid).

The high nine of endocrine disruptors to avoid


  • Used in plastics, epoxy and thermal cash receipts
  • imitates oestrogen
  • linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, PCOS, obesity, early puberty, heart disease

Avoid it:

  • choose fresh food over canned or plastic contained
  • say no to receipts you don’t need
  • avoid BPA & BPS plastics

2. Fire retardants

  • PBDE’s used to prevent fires
  • lowers IQ
  • Detected in the breastmilk of mothers worldwide

Avoid it:

  • avoid reupholstering foam furniture
  • use a vacuum with HEPA filter
  • check furniture has no added flame retardants
  • throw out old carpets

3. Atrazine

  • Weedkiller shown to turn male frogs into females that produce viable eggs
  • Drinking water contaminant, used on Australian crops

Avoid it:

  • buy organic
  • get a drinking water filter specifically for herbicide removal

4. Phthalates

  • Makes plastics soft and body products scented and sticky
  • Linked to thyroid irregularities and testicular cell cancer triggers

Avoid it:

  • avoid all synthetic fragrances
  • don’t use plastic containers or food wraps
  • steer clear of vinyl flooring and products

5. Perchlorate 

  • Makes plastics soft and body products scented and sticky (think scented body butter)
  • Linked to thyroid irregularities and testicular cell cancer triggers

Avoid it:

  • avoid all synthetic fragrances
  • don’t use plastic containers or food wraps
  • steer clear of vinyl flooring and products

6. Lead

  • Lowers sex hormones, disrupts major stress regulators
  • Linked to permanent brain damage, low IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, high blood pressure, kidney damage, nervous system

Avoid it

  • Never use lead based paint or buy lead based paint toys/products
  • Wash new toys
  • Keep your house free of dust
  • Filter water
  • Eat organic, wholefoods

7. Mercury

  • binds to menstrual hormone
  • Mood swings, depression, ovulation issues

Avoid it:

  • Don’t eat farmed fish
  • Don’t eat deep water fish (tuna, shark, mackarel, marlin)
  • remove mercury fillings

8. PFC’s 

  • low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, poor sperm quality.
  • Also used in waterproofing

Avoid it:

  • Avoid strain resistant treatments on furniture and clothing
  • Don’t use non stick bakeware – choose cast iron instead
  • Steer clear of microwave meals and popcorn

9. Glycol Ethers

  • asthma, allergies, fertility issues
  • solvent in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics

Avoid it:

  • make your own natural cleaners from vinegar and baking soda. Add essential oils if you like scents
  • steer clear of cosmetics and sunscreens unless they are mineral and certified organic

3 things you can do today to protect your endocrine system

  1. Ditch plastic containers in the house and invest in glass or stainless steel for all food and drinks. Woolies and Coles have options and we sell a range of stainless steel water bottles and food containers at the studio.
  2. Choose skin care products like it is food. If you wouldn’t eat it don’t use it – including sunscreen. Organic, fragrance free is best. In studio we stock a beautiful, organic, Australian range of brands including Eco Minerals from Byron Bay, Salus Body from Melbourne, Cannabella from the Sunny Coast and Avocado Zinc from Perth. Each brand has been chosen for their quality, ethics and health benefits. Not only are these products absolutely gorgeous on the skin, they are good for you and your family. You don’t need a lot of products in your home – but you do deserve the best.
  3. Filter your drinking water with a high quality filter that removes all chemicals. We use Waters Co 10 litre water filter in our home for drinking water and all of our general use water is filtered by NT Filter Specialists

The accumulative effect

Many endocrine disruptors have an accumulative effect on the body which means that your body may be able to handle a certain load before the sign and symptoms of toxicity really show up but once your body has accumulated too much toxicity you end up with insidious diseases that cause pain and suffering.

Our hormones work in cycles and have ebbs and flows. These tidal movements of the endocrine system need a clean, toxic free environment to be able to work well. Detoxing the system takes time and even when we clean up our own home and daily habits, the World around us is full of endocrine disrupting chemicals so we really need to mitigate as much of the burden as we can if we want to protect our own bodies and the bodies of our loved ones.

Choose one thing every week or every month to replace in your daily life that will start to reduce the toxic load on your body and know that every decision counts. The choice you make today can transform your life tomorrow.